On Tuesday, April 18, 2023, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania suspended attorney Mary C. Kilgus for improper transfer of a client’s funds into her own business account.
The case is entitled “Office of the Disciplinary Counsel v. Mary C. Kilgus,” with case no. 6 DB 2023
The charges cited Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1, 1.3, 1.4(a)(4), 1.15(b), 1.15(c), 1.15(e), 1.16(d), 8.4(c), and Pa. R.D.E 203(b)(7)
The Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
On January 6, 2023, the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel filed a petition for discipline against the respondent charging the same with professional misconduct in two matters. On the first one, it was alleged that the respondent improperly transferred the client’s settlement funds into her trust account. On count two, the respondent allegedly failed to communicate with the client in writing the basis or rate of her fee for her representation in a Federal Court case.
The joint petition states:
“Respondent had control over the Business/operating Account and used funds in the account for business and personal expenses. As of December 31, 2019, the Trust Account had a balance of $80; and the Business/operating Account had a balance of $1,037.18. On December 31, 2019, the respondent had the check for $13,753.85 deposited into the Trust Account; and improperly deposited the $1,246.15 check into the Business/ Operating Account.”
The joint petition continues:
“For more than two years after receiving Mr. Feaster’s $15, 000 settlement, Respondent failed to pay any portion of the settlement to him. Respondent intended to deprive Mr. Feaster of his $15,000 settlement.”
The joint petition further states:
“Respondent never filed an action in federal court on behalf of Mr. Bathgate Respondent did little work, the Federal Court Case any, with respect to the Billing History Report Respondent, provided Yr. Bathgate noted a $450.00 charge for unspecified work on a Federal this was the only entry the Respondent provided indicating that she had done any work on the Federal Court Case.”
After examining the above precedent and giving consideration to the respondent’s misconduct and the aggravating and mitigating factors, the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel and the respondent submitted that a suspension of four years is the appropriate discipline.
The order states:
“AND NOW, this 18th day of April 2023, upon consideration of the Recommendation of the Three-Member Panel of the Disciplinary Board, the Joint Petition in Support of Discipline on Consent is granted, and Mary C. Kilgus is suspended on consent from the Bar of this Commonwealth for a period of four years. Respondent shall comply with the provisions of Pa.R.D.E. 217 and pay costs to the Disciplinary Board. See Pa.R.D.E. 208(g).”
Ms. Kilgus practices in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. She is licensed in Pennsylvania. Her info can be found on avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.